Doctor Who: Amy’s Choice (Series 05, Episode 07) Review

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What’s It About?

The Doctor pays a visit to Amy and Rory five years after they left the TARDIS. The crew then wake up on the TARDIS to find that they have all had the same dream, or is that the dream? Enter the Dream Lord …

Review It

Veteran comedy writer Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly) steps to the podium with an intriguing plot that harkens somewhat to The Mind Robber (which was originally meant to be a story set entirely in The Doctor’s mind. The central premise, making the travellers choose between two realities with potentially fatal consequences is truly intriguing and the character of the Dream Lord is mysterious enough to keep the viewer guessing. Given the writer’s best known work, viewers would be forgiven for expecting an extremely humourous script – possibly over comedic. This is not the case, however – yes, the script is funny and witty, but it never overpowers the central drama.

Making the TARDIS (usually the one safe place in the series) unsafe also works effectively. Way back in William Hartnell’s first year, a two-part story seemed to turn the time machine against its occupants with eerie effect. This story is not quite so odd, though it is satisfying to see some proper TARDIS scenes. I’m still waiting for an episode where the craft becomes taken over by some entity or other and the Doctor has to find his way through death-trap laden corridors to the secondary control room to regain control … but I digress.

I felt Arthur Darvill’s Rory really came into his own as a character in this episode. I definitely rate his performance alongside the other regulars. This despite him being primarily the comedy sidekick. The Leadworth reality is clearly Rory’s ideal and though it may not be everyone’s it’s easy to empathise with him for just wanting a normal life with the woman he loves. Besides, we all know some one who’s a little bit Rory and that makes him the more real.

Big kudos as well to Karen Gillan for her performance in one particular scene near the end. Intense emotions and very real reactions. I also think this was a great moment of revelation for the character and far more satisfying a payoff than the Rose / Mickey relationship.

Toby Jone’s performance as the enigmatic Dream Lord was also well pitched. First appearing as an almost twisted parody of Matt Smith (short, balding, wide-faced with no chin to speak of) and wearing a parody of his costume. Some of the character’s insight into The Doctor’s mind was cutting and Matt Smith’s reactions were spot on.

And the niggles?

Given the nature of the piece – dream in a dream in a dream … it’s difficult to find holes in the plot. My own dreams are riddled with them, making any apparent holes strokes of genius! I’m sure some people will find the ultimate reveal somewhat of a low point, but personally I wasn’t disappointed. It made a lot of sense to me personally, though I’m not going to claim to have fathomed it out!

In summary: Clever concept, well written and superbly written and excellently performed. Definitely in my top three stories since the series’ relaunch in 2005 alongside Blink and Midnight.

Rate It: 4.5 / 5.
Dry Slaps: 0.
Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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2 comments

  1. Also very much loved this episode, the highlight of the series thus far for me. Everything about it just made the episode better and i think i have finally accepted Matt Smith as the Doctor. I very much enjoyed the reveal at the end too, regardless of how cliche it might have seemed.

  2. Nathan /

    I’m going to claim I guessed that both “realities” were dreams – I just found myself thinking – “well, why would he let Rory die? That’d surely ruin his whole game, she’s never gonna stick with this reality”.

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